Not as dumb as you think

Legally Blonde

Directed by Robert Luketic

(Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Jennifer Coolidge)

Rated: PG13


You can almost hear the wheels turning in the heads of the writers: “Throw a hot blonde with a valley accent into Harvard Law and watch the comedy ensue.” Legally Blonde uses a formula that includes an endless array of funnies made at the expense of a “dumb blonde” caught in “serious” real-world issues. But is she really dumb? This movie beats around the bush regarding the age-old issue: Can an attractive young woman be seen as anything more than a piece of ass?

Miss Hawaiian Tropic runner-up Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) decides to make the jump from a fashion merchandising degree at an up-state California College to Harvard Law, hoping to win back a long time boyfriend. With the help of fellow sorority members, Elle produces an application video featuring assets she could bring to Harvard including a bikini clad body and strong fashion sense.

Despite a plot that’s as predictable as a Britney Spears’ chorus, Legally Blonde is surprisingly peppered with creative dialogue. Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge), of American Pie fame, plays a lonely pedicurist particularly well, offering her insight on
relations with the opposite sex – “If a girl like Elle can’t hold onto her man, what chance is there for the rest of us?” Elle befriends the shy middle-age pedicurist when her fellow law students are disgusted at the idea of sharing a study group with “Malibu Barbie.”

Rather than resorting to your standard naughty parts humor, Legally Blonde was able to cling onto its PG13 rating by using clever conversation, bitchy glances from Selma Blair (Elle’s ex’s new flame) and stinging comebacks to deliver the punchlines. The laughs turn to groans occasionally when camera cuts reveal Elle’s dog Bruiser wearing the same Prada outfit as its blonde master.

You’ll be safe if you wait until this movie is on a shiny DVD disc, but it’s worth a once-over. If you’re in a good mood on a Tuesday night this summer, bring a date and you’ll like, um, totally laugh with Legally Blonde.

– Mike DeArmond


Legally Blonde opens today in theatres nationwide.